Fit Links: Chocolate For Dinner, How To Protect Your Wrists At Yoga And More

There are hundreds of wonderful sites on healthy living to be seen all over the blogosphere. Here at Fit Links, we'll introduce you to some that have caught our eye.

We never thought we'd say this, but go ahead, eat chocolate for dinner. Really! Dig in to this spinach salad with chocolate vinaigrette recipe from Fit Bottomed Girls. You can thank us later.

They're crucial to your practice but also a little under-appreciated. Here's how to show your wrists a little extra love in yoga class, care of POPSUGAR Fitness.

High-intensity interval training is taking the barre world by storm, thanks to a new studio mixing the typical small-muscle barre moves with things like cardio kickboxing or Tabata intervals or kettlebells. Give it a try at home with this easy-to-follow sneak peek from Well + Good.

Seeing the number on the scale shrink is only one goal on the path to healthy living. But goals beyond weight loss can help you stick with your exercise routine through the most frustrating of plateaus. Need some inspiration? SparkPeople shares five non-scale goals sure to get you motivated.

1
Chocolate Decreases Stroke Risk
Alamy
A 2011 Swedish study found that women who ate more than 45 grams of chocolate a week had a 20 percent lower risk of stroke than women who treated themselves to fewer than 9 grams of the sweet stuff.
2
Chocolate Boosts Heart Health
Flickr:Chocolate Reviews
Regular chocolate eaters welcome a host of benefits for their hearts, including lower blood pressure, lower "bad" LDL cholesterol and a lower risk of heart disease. One of the reasons dark chocolate is especially heart-healthy is its inflammation-fighting properties, which reduce cardiovascular risk. Flickr photo by Lee McCoy
3
Chocolate Fills You Up
Flickr:Vegan Feast Catering
Because it's rich in fiber, dark chocolate can actually help keep you full, so you'll eat less, Dr. David Katz, founding director of Yale University's Prevention Research Center and HuffPost blogger told The Huffington Post. Regular chocolate eaters might do themselves a favor by treating themselves to a bite instead of snacking on "11 other things first" he said. Dark chocolate does the trick much better than milk, according to a small study from the University of Copenhagen, and may even reduce cravings for sweet, salty and fatty foods. Flickr photo by Vegan Feast Catering
4
Chocolate May Fight Diabetes
Flickr:The Integer Club
A small Italian study from 2005 found that regularly eating chocolate increases insulin sensitivity, thereby reducing risk for diabetes. Flickr photo by The Integer Club
5
Chocolate Protects Your Skin
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Forget what you've heard about chocolate causing breakouts: Dark chocolate is actually good for your skin. The type of antioxidants called flavonoids found in dark chocolate offer some protection from UV damage from the sun. And no, that does not mean you can skip the sunscreen!
6
Chocolate Can Quiet Coughs
Flickr:ryancboren
Can't stop coughing? An ingredient in chocolate called theobromine seems to reduce activity of the vagus nerve, the part of the brain that triggers hard-to-shake coughs. In late 2010, the BBC reported that scientists were investigating creating a drug containing theobromine to preplace cough syrups containing codeine, which can have risky side effects. Flickr photo by ryancboren
7
Chocolate Boosts Your Mood
Flickr:stevendepolo
There's no denying that indulging your sweet tooth every once in a while feels great. Enjoying food is part of enjoying life, points out HuffPost Healthy Living's wellness editor, Dr. Patricia Fitzgerald. Chocolate eaters also report feeling less stressed. Flickr photo by stevendepolo
8
Chocolate Improves Blood Flow
Flickr:David Berkowitz
Cocoa has anti-clotting, blood-thinning properties that work in a similar way to aspirin, Dr. Fitzgerald writes, which can improve blood flow and circulation. Flickr photo by David Berkowitz
9
Chocolate Improves Vision
Flickr:Robert Couse-Baker
Because of chocolate's ability to improve blood flow, in particular to the brain, researchers at the University of Reading hypothesized in a small 2011 study that chocolate may also increase blood flow to the retina, thereby giving vision a boost. Flickr photo by Robert Couse-Baker
10
Chocolate May Make You Smarter
Alamy
That boost of blood flow to the brain created by cocoa's flavanols seems to make people feel more awake and alert, and, in a small British study, perform better on counting tasks.